White Supremacist Kills Guard At U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Remember when conservative bloggers got all upset about the Obama administration declassifying a report on right wing terrorism earlier this year? They got all upset about right wing terrorism being raised as an issue of government concern, while ignoring the facts that the report was written by a Bush administration appointee and that DHL had also declassified a report on left wing terrorism. For some reason liberal bloggers had no problem with such concern about violent extremists regardless if from the left of the right, but conservative bloggers had a problem with open discussion of the very real problem of violence from the far right.

The murder of George Tiller proved that right wing terrorism is a serious problem, and worthy of being discussed by the Department of Homeland Security. We had another tragic example of right wing terrorism today with the shootings at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum by a white supremacist.

In retrospect, nutty right wingers who express their frustration by spreading lies about what David Letterman said on his show are far preferable to this more violent variety.

Update: “It was a warning to us all, and it appears now they were right.” That’s from Shep Smith of Fox, not some left wing blogger. The video:

Update 2: A Republican blog for some strange reason linked here while both denying the problem of violence from the extreme right and falsely claiming that “none of them [liberal blogs] have brought up the hate-crime murder of the Army recruiter. it doesn’t fit the meme I guess.” Of course I, along with many other liberal bloggers, have commented on that while opposing  extremist violence from both the left and right. Why do so many Republicans have so little regard for the truth?

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15 Comments

  1. 1
    Christoher Skyi says:

    I still don’t get the “wing-right” adjective here.  What’s the difference between “left-wing” and “right-wing” terrorists again and how is the distinction of any practical importance?

    It’s no surprise with the recession and the election of a president from traditionally minority ranks that we’d see headlines such as:

    Homegrown hate groups increase in number:

    “On a recent Saturday afternoon, hate was on the march in St. Louis. About 85 members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the nation’s largest neo-Nazi group, gathered in the shadow of the famed Gateway Arch for a march and rally celebrating its 35th anniversary.
     
     
    Clad fashionably in all black, with their pants tucked into tightly laced combat boots, the group carried swastika flags and signs urging immigrants to leave the country. They chanted “Sieg Heil,”  a popular rallying cry in World War II Germany, accompanied by a Nazi salute: one arm outstretched, fingers tightly joined, palms facing down.

     
    Their critics say that groups like NSM are the faces of homegrown hate, something the NSM denies. They instead call themselves a “white civil rights organization.” Its ultimate goal is to whitewash America. If they had their way, U.S. citizenship would be limited to “those of pure white blood”; minorities would live in the country as guests. All Jewish people and gays would be forced to leave and immigration would be prohibited.”
     
    So one of the largest “hate groups” call themselves socialist, which has more left-wing that right-wing connotations, but what does that mean really?  Is there any meaningful relationship between the aims and goals of NSM and more mainstream leftest and liberals?  True, economically, the NSM shares many of the same goals as hard-core  liberals and leftest, e.g., (a few of NSM 25 demands):
     
    – We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations.
     
    – The passing of a law instituting profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises.
    – The creation of a livable wage.
     
    – We demand an end to the status quo in which people die or rot away from lack of proper treatment due to the failure of their medical coverage, Health Maintenance Organization, or insurance policy.
     
    – We further demand the extensive development of insurance for old age and that prescription drugs be made both affordable and accessible.
     
    Now, if NSM wanted to increase their ranks, would they search out unhappy individuals who lean more to the left than the right? I don’t think so — in fact, I only have to think about it for 1 millisecond before coming that conclusion.
     
    “They (conservative bloggers) got all upset about right wing terrorism being raised as an issue of government concern”
     
    Well, they got upset because the “left” gleefully supposed an implied connection between “right-wing” hate groups and the larger conservative movement.  I think the implication — and implied smear — was very Very clear.
    “The murder of George Tiller proved that right wing terrorism is a serious problem, and worthy of being discussed by the Department of Homeland Security.”
    Serious problem?  It’s one guy that was killed. I wouldn’t call this a serious internal national security threat.
    I believe the long-term, ongoing and potentially growing threat is from homegrown Islamic-based groups, and even they aren’t that dangerous, at least not so far.
    Finally, by somehow trying to make a big deal of any one of these isolated incidence, the government, media, and well-intentioned blog-posts like this one are in fact counter-productive:
     
    Written back in 2006, Radley Balko gave some terrific advice about the appropriate framing of these events:
     
    “Our politicians help the terrorists every time they use fear as a campaign tactic. The press helps every time it writes scare stories about the plot and the threat. And if we’re terrified, and we share that fear, we help. All of these actions intensify and repeat the terrorists’ actions, and increase the effects of their terror.
     
    As the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, Schneier offers sound advice as to where we should go from here. He writes, “It’s time we calm down and fight terror with antiterror . . . The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and not a particularly common one at that.”
     

  2. 2
    Christoher Skyi says:

    From now on, I vote to call these nutcases “violent-extremest” or “violent-hate” groups and drop the right/left adjectives.

    After all, if you were liberal and walking down a dark alley and someone was following you and when you took a quick look back and realized the persons following you were members of of a “left-wing” violent extremest group, would breath out a sigh of relief and say, “thank god, I though they were members of that right-wing terrorist group” ?

    I didn’t think so 🙂

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    In that sense it is irrelevant as to whether someone is a left wing or right wing terrorist. That does not mean there aren’t benefits to classifying the different types of groups, despite the limitations of our political labels. Just as we classify mainstream politicians as left or right, knowing there are many limitations to this, there are also benefits to classifying violent extremists as being left or right.

  4. 4
    Mike says:

    The pro life agenda can clearly be labeled as a right-wing conservative issue.  Killing  Tiller (unless one were to uncover some bizzare twist that some sicko did it just to make the right look bad) if categorized would fit IMO under “right wing terrorist act” .  As wicked a crime as it was and as counter-productive to the aims of pro-life as it was, I have to call it, albeit single and rare, a right wing extremist terrorist action.  The White Supremacist action I can in no way connect to right wing or conservative agenda, in fact when you look at who wants to keep labeling people by what race they are, like affirmative action, I believe I could argue that the left is more concerned about what race people are than the right.   Ron, I’d like you to answer …why…and how…. do you connect White supremacy to right wing, and/or conservatism?

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    This is hardly my classification or a connection I came up with. White supremacist groups have always been classified on the far right. While they are far more extreme and violent, racism is strongly associated with the American right (which is not to say that everyone on the right is racist). This includes right wing groups through out history such as the KKK on the extreme end to the southern strategy of the GOP on the less extreme spectrum of the right.

    White supremacist groups also tend to have associations with other right wing groups and, beyond their racism, tend to promote the same beliefs as far right wing groups.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Besides, we even have the report from Fox News (posted above) as well as the DHL report by a Bush appointee which classify people such as white supremacists as being right wing terrorists. Are you going to argue with Fox News and with a report from a Bush appointee 🙂

  7. 7
    Mike says:

    Your answer is you connect the two because…you didn’t come up with it?  That is just how it “..has always been classified..” I humbly say there isn’t much depth to that post.  Perhaps you have a trove of research that you just weren’t up to digging up tonight and you were gratifying me with a little more of an instant feedback response than a long dissertation.  Ok, I’ll try to be patient and understanding on this.  But my “brainwashed from talk radio” perspective is that right wing has been always linked to racism simply because that is the way their opponents have always “classified” them.   

  8. 8
    Mike says:

    My perspective is this, race is a myth, really, I’m not trying to be flippant, I’m serious, I’m not just saying cliches like: “If cut, don’t we all bleed red?” and stuff.  Racial terms, by their nature, are ambiguous. The terms “black” and “white” when used to describe someone are as vague as terms “rich” or “tall”. For example, very few would dispute that NBA basketball star Shaquille O’Neil is both tall and rich. But how much money do you have to have to be rich? Exactly what height is tall? Trying to define the meaning of a racial term and then trying to match that with a specific person can be daunting. What is a white person? How black does one have to be to be a black person?  Yet you connected a political ideology to one specific type of bias.

  9. 9
    Mike says:

    My son was born in Puerto Rico, we have a birth certificate to prove it.  He can claim he is Puerto Rican even though he doesn’t speak Spanish nor much of a connection to the culture of that island.  Because of the fortune of apparently meticulous record keeping by Dutch traders, my son can also trace his lineage back to an African slave that was brought on a ship to the island of Tortola, British Virgin Islands.  He thus has evidence of  being African, why in the world that play a part in if he gets a job with a particular fire department?  If a business denies hiring him just by how he looks, I’m all for a major lawsuit to smack who ever did it.  But this affirmative action junk is all about classifying people, and IMO that is wrong, that issue is not owned by conservatives, it is liberals who advocate affirmative action.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mike,

    You might want to say that race is a myth but racism and anti-Semitism are not myths. Violence such as this shows they are very real problems which cannot be ignored.

    My answer is far more than saying that is always how it has been classified. As we found out more about the shooter it confirmed my argument based upon the connections between white supremacists and other right wing groups. His writings clearly demonstrate that he is on the far right.

    Even arguments based upon how things have always been classified are also valid and should not be casually dismissed as you have. Classification along the left right spectrum is largely a matter of definition and tradition. Communism is classified on the far left and Nazism is classified on the far right. As is common with right wing extremists, the shooter turned out to have connections to neo-Nazi and Holocaust denial groups along with being a white supremacist.

    Whether or not you want to deny it, racism is a defining characteristic of this wing of the extreme right. It is not a case of the right being classified as racist by their opponents. This developed because of the prevalence of racism on the right.

  11. 11
    Mike says:

    …race is a myth but racism and anti-Semitism are not myths.  Did we just agree? Or where you saying the existence of racism disproves the premise of race being a myth? There is no doubt that racism exists and is a problem.  But suppose you had a large group of people that all openly admitted to hating rich people.  Suppose they even went so far as committing acts of violence against those they considered rich. There still would be lacking enough definition of rich to know who was or wasn’t in the group.  If I could vote for the funniest skit of the last 10 years , I would say it was David Chappell’s “blind racist”. (I don’t know what he actually calls it.) Of course my belief that there really is no such thing as a white race or a black race probably makes me as odd or more odd than people who believe in Bigfoot. 

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    I wouldn’t say that race being a myth is true or false. Race exists. It is a consideration for me on a daily basis, such as in considering racial differences in susceptibility to certain diseases and responses to certain drugs. You are right that  races are not pure so from that perspective you could say that race is a myth.

  13. 13
    Mike says:

    I bet, if there was a parallel world where no one cared at all about the color of one’s skin but instead were obsessed about height, short people thinking they were superior and refusing to marry or live in tall people’s neighborhoods, ect.  that height would end up being as significant a medical difference and consideration as you see in race today.  In fact, that would be race in that world, you would have a tall race and a short race.

  14. 14
    Fritz says:

    Ron — I keep hearing that, because of the very small groups that left Africa and formed the non-African human populations, Africans have far more genetic variability than people of non-African descent.  It would seem to me that a direct corollary of that would be that non-African race would be a factor in drug reactions, but that you would have far less predictive power if the patient is of African descent.   Do you know if that is true?

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    Fritz,

    We are talking generalities when taking race into account in medical decisions. Often we have to make a decision before we have much data and go with what has the best odds, and then adjust as we have more information. Race sometimes gives some reason to sometimes go in one direction but there are many exceptions. I’m not sure off hand if this is any worse in Africans as opposed to others. The ultimate goal is to be able to do genetic testing to better adjust to the individual (due to the “myth” of race as Mike might argue).

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